This is something that has been asked by many, who are visiting Italy and see the huge bikers gathering in the summer months on Bandimere Speedway in the North of Italy. Many people think that Bandimere is owned by the Italian government, but this is not true. The bikers are simply there for a party every summer, and the residents of Bandimere rally around and help out with the organization and upkeep of the track. The locals also love a good party and a large crowd, so they make the most of it. Many of the businesses along the strip pay for the right to hold a party outside on their premises, which can be rather lucrative.
History Of Bandimere Speedway
The history of the track goes back to the 1950s, when it was built by a group of bikers. The location was chosen due to its curves, which give it ideal conditions for motorcycle racing. The group of bikers that owned the track originally were from Switzerland and France. They imported the first motorcycle to Italy (a BMW R60), and from there, the rest is history. The first official race was held in June 1960, and the track remained unchanged until 1997, when it was expanded and renovated. Since then, it has maintained its original layout and the addition of a few bends and jumps. The track is still owned by the same group of bikers today and is mostly unchanged, continuing its tradition of creating a superb race track.
Stadium & Its Legacy
The venue is actually two separate stadiums (which are joined by a common fence), with a total capacity of around 8,000. The main stadium holds 4,600 seats and is the traditional location for the final race of the season. The smaller one was built in 1964 and holds around 2,400, and is used for the weekly Friday night criterium, and for other races that need a smaller space.
The stadium is actually named after Guido Buffi, an Italian professional motorcycle racer, who died in a racing accident in 1961. The facility is still used for motorcycle racing and other motorsport activities. The Friday night criterium, the annual ‘Biker Week’ and the WBF Proving Ground are major events that are held there each year. The venue is also called ‘La Moletta’, which means ‘The Little Bear’. This is because the logo of an Italian bike manufacturer, Moto Guzzi, which is ‘Little Bear’, is painted on the track walls. This same bear also appears on the tanks of all of their bikes.
Future Of Bandimere Speedway
The biggest news to come out of Bandimere this year is the announcement that the venue will close in October 2019. The owner of the track, Gauthier Piccard, explained: “After 42 years, the time has come to say goodbye. The economic and commercial situation in Italy, and more broadly, the European Union, has made it impossible for us to continue hosting large-scale bike events at Bandimere, as much as we would like to. Unfortunately, the economic and political situation in the world has also made it impossible for us to continue funding the organization and development of the venue. As much as we would like to, we have no choice but to bow out gracefully and look for new challenges. We would like to thank all of our partners, fans and all those who made this event special over the years.”
Bandimere is one of the last track facilities of its kind, and it will be missed by any motorsport fan. It’s a shame that racing in general is on the decline in Europe, particularly when you consider all of the great tracks that still exist. One of the great things about Bandimere is that it is truly a testament to the form and function of bikers in society. It is interesting to think that a group of bikers chose this location as a place to socialize, meet, race and party, all within the context of motorcycling. Perhaps if more people understood the significance of motorcycling and the position that it holds in society, the sport would not be in the predicament that it is currently in.